Employing People with Disabilities: Workers with disabilities can transform a work environment in unexpected ways. In this issue, Breaking Barriers readers who employ people with disabilities tell stories of lessons learned.
Performing to a High Standard
When preparing for a house concert, Paul Helm decided to hire a piano tuner, Tony Rodriguez, who has autism. The piano sounded beautiful for the concert.
From Apprehension to Appreciation
Hannie Fledderus wondered whether Eddie, who has intellectual disability, would be able to handle the farm chores for which they hired him. He did and more.
A Farmhand and Friend
Marlene Vanrootselaar, Eddie's mother, saw amazing changes in his life by working at the Fledderus' farm.
Invisible, in a Good Way
When John DeBoer, principal of King's Christian Collegiate, hired Zach, he thought they were giving this young man with Down Syndrome meaningful work. They discovered that Zach helps make King's a good, purposeful workplace.
Leading with Ability
Tim Sluiter, lead pastor at First Reformed Church in Baldwin WI, hired worship director Cassie for her musical abilities. This visually impaired woman has served the congregation well these past six years.
Editor’s note: Who, Me?
Terry DeYoung, who lives with physical disability, had a world open to him that he never dreamed possible when a newspaper hired him to work as one of their sports writers.
A Custodian and a Connector (web only attached below)
Dan Barkel, Principal at Western Christian High School in Hull IA, needed custodial help. As the father of a child with a disability, he thought, "If a person with disabilities could do it, it would be a win-win."
Spring 2018 — Welcoming worship. Churches can help people with disabilities feel welcome (or unwelcome) in their worship. Do you have a story about welcoming (or unwelcoming) worship? Please send us a note (no more than 400 words) by February 21, 2018.
Summer 2018 — Aging and disability. The average age of people in churches and throughout North America keeps increasing, and the percentage of people with disabilities increases with age. How are church members 65 and older encouraged to participate and use their gifts in ministry? How does your church minister with shut-ins or those with dementia and/or hearing, physical, and visual impairments? Please send us a note (400 words) by April 18.
Breaking Barriers is a collaborative disability ministry of the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.
Listen to Breaking Barriers. The links below allow you to listen to our regular edition and the online only article of our Winter 2018 issue.